Markham
School of Rock

Explore School of Rock

Markham

Map
School of Rock Markham
150 Bullock Drive,
Markham, Ontario L3P1W2
(647) 218-7625

Location Specifics

Entrance on east side of the building, main floor, inside the red door between the swim school and Joyride.

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Hours
  • Monday: 3 PM - 9 PM
  • Tuesday: 3 PM - 9 PM
  • Wednesday: 3 PM - 9 PM
  • Thursday: 3 PM - 9 PM
  • Friday: 3 PM - 9 PM
  • Saturday: 10 AM - 4 PM
  • Sunday: 10 AM - 4 PM

Music programs at School of Rock Markham combine one-on-one lessons with group band practices

Programs we offer

Rock 101 music program in Markham for kids and beginners
Rock 101
Ages 8-13

Rock 101 is one of School of Rock Markham's top programs for kids and beginners. Students have one weekly group rehearsal where they learn to play classic rock songs that have been simplified for beginner musicians. Additionally, Rock 101 students in Markham have a weekly private music lesson with an instructor who helps them learn the concepts and skills behind their performance songs.

What To Expect
  • 1 WEEKLY PRIVATE LESSON
  • 1 WEEKLY GROUP REHEARSAL

The Path to Take the Stage

Our music programs for kids in Markham are designed to get students on stage performing, with the goal of building strong musical proficiency. Younger students at School of Rock Markham who have participated in the Rookies program can move to our Rock 101 music program once they’re ready. Additionally, students (typically ages 8 to 13-years-old) can begin Rock 101 without any prior experience. The goal of this rock program is to quickly develop a basic competence on students’ chosen instruments before moving on to our famous Performance Program.

Performance music program for teens in Markham
Performance
Ages 8-18

The Performance Program at School of Rock Markham is our hallmark music program, where tens of thousands of students enroll each year. It consists of a weekly group rehearsal where kids and teens learn by playing rock music's most iconic songs with a band composed of their peers. Students are assigned songs and parts that are tailored to them based on their age, experience and ability to learn new skills and concepts. Students then work through their parts in weekly private music lessons, refining the skills and concepts that those songs introduce. The goal of this curriculum is to prepare kids and teens for live performances. Every few months, School of Rock Markham Performance Program students take the stage and play at local Markham music venues in front of a live audience.

What To Expect
  • 1 WEEKLY PRIVATE LESSON
  • 1 WEEKLY GROUP REHEARSAL

The Path to Take the Stage

School of Rock Markham's music programs for kids and teens are designed to inspire by getting students on stage and performing. All of our other music education programs focus on readying students for our famous Performance Program. This is where students develop incredible musical skills. Performance Program students have often gone through our Rock 101 program first or have some previous basic music experience. These young musicians will have custom development plans outlined by their instructors with key concepts reinforced during private lessons and group rehearsals, all with the goal of performing live at a Markham music venue.

Rookies music program for children in Markham
Rookies
Ages 6-7

At School of Rock Markham, our music program for children with no previous musical experience (typically ages 6 to 7-years-old) is called Rookies. Rookies students have one weekly group music lesson where they learn fundamentals like chords, rhythm and song structure. Kids get to learn and experiment with multiple instruments so they can later decide which one they ultimately want to continue pursuing in Rock 101.

What To Expect
  • 1 WEEKLY GROUP LESSON
  • USE OF SIMPLIFIED ROCK INSTRUMENTS TO TEACH KIDS TO PLAY MUSIC

The Path to Take the Stage

All of our music programs are designed to inspire students to learn and develop a strong musical proficiency. At School of Rock Markham, younger students who are not ready for a more comprehensive program like Rock 101 can start in Rookies. Additionally, students who have completed the Little Wing program will progress into the Rookies music program. No prior musical experience is needed for Rookies. Once your child is ready for private music lessons (typically older than first or second graders), they will graduate into our Rock 101 program.

Songwriting
Ages 10 and over

Our Songwriting program for kids and teens teaches the fundamentals of songwriting, arrangement and music theory, and helps students compose original works.  At School of Rock Markham, songwriting students receive one weekly private lesson where they learn concepts, technique and theory on an instrument of their choice. These principles are then applied in a weekly group lesson where students work together on songwriting exercises and lyrical workshops.  Every few months, Songwriting students take the stage to perform or band together to record their original songs.

What to Expect
  • 1 weekly private lesson
  • 1 weekly group lesson

The Path to Take the Stage

Our Songwriting program for kids and teens in Markham is designed to create musical proficiency through the creation of original music. Students at School of Rock Markham who have completed our Rock 101 program can move to our Songwriting program once they’re ready. Additionally, new students who have prior experience with and basic knowledge of an instrument can also begin Songwriting. The program culminates with a live showcase where students perform their original compositions in bands at a local music venue. Students taking the Songwriting Program online will remotely record their original songs to produce a demo of the class's music.

Remote student playing guitar
Online
All Ages

At School of Rock Markham, our students can take online, one-on-one music instruction from the comfort of their homes. We call this program School of Rock Remote. This online music program contains weekly one-on-one instruction conducted by our expert School of Rock instructors in a safe virtual lesson room.
 
Students will receive their training using our proprietary education program, The School of Rock Method™, which couples live video lessons with our proprietary Method App™, SongFirst Approach™ and Method Books™. 

What To Expect
  • ONE WEEKLY 1-ON-1 LESSON
  • LESSONS CONDUCTED USING SECURE VIDEO TECHNOLOGY

THE PATH TO TAKE THE STAGE

All of our music programs for kids, teens, and adults are designed to help students gain amazing musical proficiency. School of Rock’s online music lesson program is no exception. Online guitar lessons, online piano lessons, online drum lessons, online singing lessons and online bass guitar lessons are all offered through the School of Rock Remote online program.

Adult music program in Markham for students over 18
Adult Program
Ages 18+

School of Rock Markham's Adult Program is for students over 18 years old who are looking to either improve their musical proficiency or pick up an instrument with no prior musical experience. As with most School of Rock music programs, the Adult Program uses a performance-based music education approach. This means the curriculum focuses on learning music concepts and applying them in a live performance setting. Our Adult Music Program includes one weekly private music lesson and a weekly group rehearsal. Every student at School of Rock Markham is placed in a band of fellow adults and then assigned specific songs as a way of learning key music concepts and skills. Adult students then take the stage to play at a live show in Markham.

What To Expect
  • 1 WEEKLY PRIVATE LESSON
  • 1 WEEKLY GROUP REHEARSAL

The Path to Take the Stage

All of our music programs are designed to inspire by getting students on stage and performing, with the goal of building strong musical proficiency along the way. The School of Rock Markham Adult Program is open to all experience levels and each student will follow a customized learning plan developed by their instructor. Adult students will work together during rehearsal to prepare for a live performance at a real rock venue in Markham.

House Band program for gigging at local venues in Markham
House Band
Age 17 and Under

The School of Rock Markham House Band music program gives students under 18 the opportunity to join a gigging band composed of fellow musicians from their school. These students perform additional live shows throughout the year. All students in the Performance Program have the opportunity to audition for a spot in School of Rock Markham's House Band. Once selected, House Band members become leaders in their School of Rock community and perform live shows at Ontario rock venues throughout the year.

What To Expect
  • A GIGGING MUSICIAN'S EXPERIENCE
  • FREQUENT LIVE PERFORMANCES IN COMMUNITY

The Path to Take the Stage

Performance is the core of School of Rock's educational approach. Therefore, we create additional opportunities for students to perform on stages throughout Markham and the rest of Ontario. The House Band music program allows each school's most talented students the opportunity to join a band and play routinely in front of live audiences. Once a member, students will gain real music experience associated with gigging musicians and will become leaders and mentors inside the School of Rock community.

The AllStars national tour features the best child and teen musicians
AllStars
Age 17 and Under

The School of Rock AllStars Tour takes the very best students from around the world and sends them on a nationwide summer tour across the United States. Less than 1% of School of Rock students are selected each year to represent School of Rock as an AllStar. All Performance Program students are eligible to audition for this prestigious program. The intensive audition process starts off with video submissions followed by live auditions. Once selected, AllStar students will have an authentic touring experience including traveling on a tour bus, doing tour publicity and starring in nightly performances at famous venues and festivals during a two-week tour.

What To Expect
  • A MULTI-CITY, COUNTRY-WIDE MUSIC TOUR EXPERIENCE
  • PERFORMING ON SOME OF THE BIGGEST AND MOST FAMOUS STAGES IN THE WORLD

The Path to Take the Stage

Becoming an AllStar is the highest level of achievement for a School of Rock student. They play on legendary stages large and small, including The Knitting Factory, Red Rocks Amphitheatre, The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, The Troubadour and Lollapalooza. AllStar students often go on to have accomplished careers in the music industry. Former AllStars have gone on to become touring artists, star in Broadway musicals, get signed to record deals, become finalists on talent competitions like "The Voice" and "American Idol" and have other notable roles in the music industry.

Music Lessons in Markham

Kid learns to play guitar at School of Rock Markham

Guitar Lessons for All Skill Levels

Beginner Guitar Lessons for Kids

At School of Rock Markham, we offer beginner guitar lessons for kids. Our expert guitar instructors guide your child from start to finish with private instruction and weekly group band rehearsals. Every instructor at School of Rock Markham is an experienced musician, and they emphasize foundational music theory and technique when teaching guitar lessons to kids. Unlike other Markham guitar lessons and programs, School of Rock is designed to get students performing in a band.

Beginner Guitar Lessons for Adults

It’s never too late to learn to play the guitar. Similar to our kids guitar lessons, School of Rock Markham's beginner guitar lessons for adults utilizes a performance-based curriculum. Our experienced instructors teach adult students through popular rock songs, and teach students to play guitar in a way that’s challenging and fun. We believe the best way to learn is by doing, which is why we combine weekly private guitar lessons with group band rehearsals. At School of Rock Markham, we teach beginner guitar lessons for adults in our Adult Program. This program gets students performing onstage at a local Markham venue.

Key Concepts
  • Technique
  • Solos
  • Chords
  • Theory

Intermediate to Advanced Guitar Lessons

As students gain skills and experience, we move them along to more challenging programs at higher skill levels. Intermediate and advanced students take the skills they learned in beginner guitar lessons, and layer on more difficult techniques and concepts. School of Rock Markham offers advanced guitar lessons for kids and adults that teach by playing challenging classic rock songs and emphasize playing the guitar in a real music venue. Our Markham guitar teachers will work with each student to develop a custom learning plan.

Kids learn to drum at School of Rock Markham

Drum Lessons for All Skill Levels

Beginner Drum Lessons for Kids

School of Rock Markham is the best option for anyone looking to learn the drums. Our beginner drum lessons get kids behind the drum kit and on their way to taking the stage. That’s why at School of Rock Markham we combine private drum lessons for beginners with weekly band rehearsals—it prepares students to perform live. With years of experience teaching drums in Markham, our drum instructors teach beginner drum students core techniques, including how to groove, play rudiments and more.

Beginner Drum Lessons for Adults

Our drum lessons for adults are designed to accommodate all skill levels. At School of Rock Markham, our beginner drum lessons for adults are built for musicians with little to no experience. We teach adults using the same core performance-based education philosophy as our drum lessons for kids—performing with a band accelerates the learning process. Adult students will perform live at a venue in Markham. Unlike other Markham drum lessons for beginners, School of Rock combines private drum lessons with weekly band rehearsals so students are ready to play in front of real, live audiences.

Key Concepts
  • RUDIMENTS
  • TIME SIGNATURES
  • TECHNIQUE
  • GROOVE

Intermediate to Advanced Drum Lessons

More experienced to advanced drum students need a drum lesson curriculum that builds upon foundational skills and continues to grow musical proficiency. That’s why at School of Rock Markham, our drum lessons are customized for each student and his or her goals. Our Markham drum instructors integrate more complex techniques and concepts—intermediary grooves, shifts, meters and more—into a student's individual lessons and group band rehearsal, and will also select more difficult songs for his or her live performances.

 

Kid learns to sing at School of Rock Markham

Singing Lessons for All Skill Levels

Beginner Singing Lessons for Kids

School of Rock Markham offers beginner singing lessons for kids. Our unique, performance-based approach develops students' musical proficiency by preparing them to perform live. At School of Rock Markham, our vocal coaches are practicing musicians who integrate key music fundamentals—breathing, posture and more—into a curriculum based on performing with a band. Each week, beginner singing students participate in a private singing lesson and a band rehearsal.

Beginner Singing Lessons for Adults

School of Rock Markham teaches adults how to sing in our innovative Adult Program. Students develop vocal skills at a challenging pace designed to help you see results with every singing lesson. Adult vocalists learn how to keep tempo, stay on-key and master advanced vocal techniques for a powerful and healthy voice. Our curriculum teaches students how to sing by using popular rock songs that emphasize key concepts. Each week, Adult Program students have a private singing lesson for beginners and group band rehearsal.

Key Concepts
  • TECHNIQUE
  • HARMONY
  • POWER
  • READING

Intermediate to Advanced Singing Lessons

At School of Rock Markham, our singing lessons for kids and adults are designed to help our students reach a high degree of musical proficiency. Intermediate and advanced singers take skills learned from previous singing lessons and layer on more difficult techniques and concepts. Our advanced singing lessons teach students to sing by performing popular rock songs that illustrate a specific vocal concept or technique. We pair weekly private singing lessons with weekly band rehearsals with the goal of getting musicians to perform live in Markham.

Kid learns to play bass at School of Rock Markham

Bass Lessons for All Skill Levels

Beginner Bass Lessons for Kids

School of Rock Markham offers beginner bass guitar lessons for kids that blend weekly private instruction with weekly band rehearsals. This performance-based approach results in a high level of musical proficiency because it engages and inspires students. Every School of Rock bass instructor is a practicing musician in Markham and teaches bass lessons for kids that get great results. Beginners learn to play bass guitar by using popular rock songs that illustrate key concepts and techniques.

Beginner Bass Lessons for Adults

Adults looking to learn bass guitar can enroll in School of Rock’s Adult Program. No experience is necessary in our beginner bass guitar lessons for adults. At School of Rock Markham, our experienced, local bass guitar instructors have the patience and skills to help adult students gain musical proficiency. As with all School of Rock music programs, our bass guitar lessons for adults ciriculum is performance-based, and include both weekly private instruction and weekly band rehearsals.

Key Concepts
  • GROOVE
  • TECHNIQUE
  • THEORY
  • TONE

Intermediate to Advanced Bass Lessons

Our intermediate to advanced bass guitar lessons teach Markham students the skills they need to become the backbone of a band. Students take skills from previous bass lessons and layer on more difficult techniques and concepts. At School of Rock Markham, our bass instructors use popular rock songs as a way of teaching students advanced concepts and techniques. We pair weekly private bass lessons with weekly band rehearsals to inspire and engage students throughout the learning process.

Kid learns to play piano at School of Rock Markham

Keyboard Lessons for All Skill Levels

Beginner Keyboard Lessons for Kids

At School of Rock we teach differently than other music schools in Markham. Our curriculum is performance-based, meaning that we prepare students to perform. Our piano lessons for beginners combine weekly private instruction with weekly band rehearsals. At School of Rock Markham, our beginner keyboard lessons for kids take key concepts and music fundamentals—finger placement, scales, key differentiation and more—and teach them through popular rock songs. This approach inspires and engages students, which results in attaining a high level of musical proficiency. Our piano teachers have years of experience teaching music in the Markham area, and know how to coach and motivate students of any skill level to play the keyboard.

Beginner Keyboard Lessons for Adults

The School of Rock Markham Adult Program puts beginner keyboard students in a band. Adult Program students in the Markham area learn to play piano through a combination of weekly private beginner piano lessons and weekly band rehearsals. At School of Rock, our piano lessons give adult students the chance to perform in a band at local Markham music venues, taking them out of the classroom and onto the stage.

Key Concepts
  • TECHNIQUE
  • TONE
  • THEORY
  • READING

Intermediate to Advanced Keyboard Lessons

At School of Rock Markham, our keyboard lessons for kids and adults are designed to help students get results. Intermediate and advanced students take skills learned from beginner keyboard lessons and layer on more advanced piano techniques with concepts. Our local keyboard instructors are all practicing musicians in Markham, and use popular rock songs as a way of teaching complex skills. We pair weekly private piano lessons with weekly band rehearsals to inspire and engage students throughout the learning process.

Our Experienced Music Teachers

All of School of Rock Markham’s music teachers are experienced musicians devoted to helping students attain musical proficiency. Our instructors guide students one-on-one to personalize learning, inspire confidence and build social skills.

Co-Owner
Shelly Davine
Owner
In 2013, Shelly opened the very first School of Rock in Canada with her late husband, Henry Teitelman. She has been involved in music for most of her life. For the past 20 years, Shelly has specialized in consulting and business services to all sectors of the entertainment industry, both in Canada and the U.S., but her main interest is and has always been music. Shelly is a people person and has owned and operated her own entertainment-related companies. In 1993, Shelly was nominated as a "Toronto Sun" 'Woman on the Move' and has been the recipient of multiple fundraising awards for her volunteer work with a number of national Canadian charity organizations. Shelly has been fortunate enough to have worked with many well-known artists in the music and film industries, including Alan Parsons, Martin Barre and Bob Ezrin, and still assists with the marketing and promotion of the multi-Juno Award-winning band Lighthouse. She is passionate about singing and playing percussion, bass guitar and keyboards. Shelly oversees all aspects of the day-to-day running of the School of Rock Markham.
Graham United
Graham Unsted
General Manager
Graham started piano lessons at age six but at age 12 decided to concentrate on guitar instead. At age 16, he dedicated himself to practicing an hour a day and began to advance much quicker in his abilities. Around the same time, he began focusing on learning metal songs, whereas previously he had been devoted to playing the blues. This broke his habit of playing the same style continually and broadened his perspective of different genres. Around that time, he also started writing his own progressions and riffs and recorded them onto his computer.

As a shy and introverted teenager, Graham never imagined that he'd be performing in front of other people. He soon decided to conquer his stage fright so he could share the music he was making with other people. Graham attended the Toronto Film School and completed his certificate in Recording Arts Technology. After graduating, he formed his first band. He soon lost his stage fright and became hooked on performing. Graham not only plays all the instruments we teach at School of Rock but can also sing. Graham is very passionate about teaching at School of Rock and enjoys sharing his passion for music and performance with all his students. He is very grateful and fortunate for the opportunity to advance the abilities of young musicians in such an incredible environment and hopes to advance himself as a musician in the process.
Music Director, Guitar Teacher, Keyboard + Piano Teacher, Drum Teacher Calvin Basi
Calvin Basi
Music Director, Guitar Teacher, Keyboard + Piano Teacher, Drum Teacher
Calvin has been fully captivated by music since he was 3 years old. Calvin began taking lessons in both piano and drums at age 6 and eventually reached Grade 9 honors in piano from the Royal Conservatory of Music. He discovered his love for the guitar when he was 8 years old. When he performed on the guitar a year later, it was at that moment that Calvin felt like the stage was his home. Calvin was one of the original five students to participate in School of Rock Markham's very first performance at a small karaoke event and has been with the school since the beginning. As one of the school’s longest-tenured House Band members ever, Calvin knows first-hand what wonderful things School of Rock has to offer.

During his time in the House Band, Calvin had the opportunity to play at some amazing venues, including the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland, Lincoln Hall in Chicago, Summerfest in Milwaukee, J.C. Dobbs in Philadelphia, The Pier That Rocks in Wildwood, and he was part of a week-long residency at the Hard Rock Resort in Punta Cana. Calvin also had the amazing opportunity to become a leader in the school's House Band, and oversaw musical arrangements, vocal harmonies, and all sorts of other tasks involved with the group's musical output.

Calvin has been working at the school for over a year and has thoroughly enjoyed his experience here. If you see Calvin at the school’s front desk, say hi! Calvin is thoroughly committed to making sure that every experience at School of Rock is a great one!
Guitar Teacher, Singing Teacher, Adult Band Coach Michael White
Michael White
Guitar Teacher, Vocal Teacher, Adult Band Coach
Michael is a guitar teacher and singing teacher at School of Rock Markham, and also coaches students in the Adult Band program. He formed the hard rock and occasional Led Zeppelin cover band, Michael White & the White. Robert Plant of Led Zeppelin assisted in securing Michael a recording contract with Atlantic Records in 1986. Michael has worked with award-winning record producers Andy Johns (Led Zeppelin, The Rolling Stones, Van Halen), Reinhold Mack (Queen, Black Sabbath) and David Glover (Ray Charles, Stevie Nicks, Tom Waits, Yes).
Candace Sintnicolaas
Vocal Instructor
Candace Sintnicolaas first joined School of Rock Markham as a co-op student through high school. Shortly after that she became an instructor for our Little Wing and Rookies programs, as well as a private vocal coach. During her time here, Candace was also a student in our Performance program, as well as a lead vocalist in the School of Rock Markham House Band for four years, where she performed in shows across the GTA and in three tours in the US. One of Candace’s favorite memories was the week the House Band performed at the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Punta Cana.

Candace auditioned and was chosen as a vocalist for the School of Rock AllStars, a group made up of the top 1% of all School of Rock locations in the world. Candace had to chance to play at venues such as World Cafe Live, The Wonder Bar and Lollapalooza. After five years with School of Rock Markham, Candace decided to further her education by attending Fanshawe College in London, Ontario, where she studied recording and mixing for live music, as well as different styles of stage etiquette, theory, writing and a history of the music she loves. Candace still missed performing, so she transferred over to Centennial College for their Music Industry Arts and Performance program, where she plans to remain until graduation. She is a vocal instructor at School of Rock Markham.
Dean Aivaliotis
Piano Teacher
Dean has a Master’s Degree in Composition and is an active and sought after piano/keyboard player, songwriter and composer. Dean has had the pleasure of working with many talented musicians, adapting his skills to various genres ranging from pop to R&B, Motown, funk, hip-hop, house and rock music. Dean's notable performances include being the opening act for salsa sensation Oscar D'Leon alongside Christian Ty, performances at Roy Thomson Hall, Royal York Hotel and Beaches Jazz festival, and a variety of weddings and special events.

You can find Dean playing frequently around the GTA with Daniella Watters and other groups. Dean has composed the score for a number of short independent films. He is currently expanding his compositional portfolio, extending his work to film, television, video games and advertisements. Dean has been teaching at School of Rock Markham since a few months after it opened.

Guitar Teacher, Bass Guitar Teacher Roozbeh Bahmani
Roozbeh Bahmani
Guitar Teacher, Bass Guitar Teacher
Roozbeh Bahmani has been musically involved and influenced since the age of 7, from learning the keyboard and beginner piano to playing the violin throughout junior high school. At age 14, he was introduced to the electric guitar and never looked back. With just over 13 years of experience playing various music genres with several bands, from heavy metal to pop-rock, Roozbeh enjoys all forms of music.

Rooz also enjoys the technical and rhythmic writing that brings out the most fun and creativity in their band. One of his musical highlights was the incredible experience of having his band play at the July 2013 Warped Tour in Toronto. Rooz is ready to lead by example and influence all the students who want to learn how to diversify their music style and learn the structure and great techniques needed to expand their musical horizons.
Raquel Rayner
Piano Teacher, Vocal Instructor
Raquel is a classically trained pianist and vocalist with a vast range of experience in everything from choral music to musical theatre to solo art. Her musical interests and performances have just as much scope in genre, from country Western to rock, pop, R&B, Motown, funk and everywhere in between. She has had the great fortune of working with incredible and renowned artists, composers and musicians through her endeavors.

Since starting singing before she could speak and taking piano lessons at the age of three, Raquel has never been able to turn down a stage (her favourite being the Toronto Centre for the Arts, where she has repeatedly performed as a soloist). She was an ensemble member and mass choir member with the Bach Children's Chorus and Bach Chamber Youth Choir. Raquel is currently exploring, testing and pushing her artistic and musical boundaries through pursuing her own music while studying Jazz at Humber College and is a firm believer that knowledge gained is only as useful as much as it is shared. She is a piano teacher and vocal instructor at School of Rock Markham.
Singing Teacher, Guitar Teacher, Keyboard + Piano Teacher Courtney Bowles
Courtney Bowles
Vocal Teacher, Guitar Teacher, Keyboard + Piano Teacher
Courtney is a proud Canadian multi-instrumentalist, singer-songwriter, and multi-platform content creator. Born in Scarborough, Ontario, Courtney has recently returned to being an unsigned and independent artist, creating, releasing, and booking her band as much as she can. Over the pandemic, she received over 25 million views on her Facebook live streams. Courtney is a passionate artist who is adamant about sharing her passion and love for life with every creature she can through her music.

Performing and writing various genres, Courtney's energetic and uplifting aura is surpassed only by her passion for performing, all the while making those around her feel loved and deserving of love. Her instruments include her powerhouse vocals, piano, electric and acoustic guitar, ukulele, and mandolin. Courtney is spending 2023 touring Canada and the USA with the Bob Seger Tribute band, Forever Seger, while fine-tuning and recording songs for her full album. She also performs in a duo called Magic Shoes with our very own GM, Graham Unsted. We are so happy that Courtney has found time to return to teaching at School of Rock Markham.
Murad Gunduz
Drum Teacher
Murad is a professional drummer from the GTA and alumnus of the prestigious music program at Humber College in Toronto. He has toured Canada, the United States and Europe with a variety of different bands performing clubs, theatres and casinos. Some notable acts Murad has toured with are The Chris Antonik Band, Wild T and the Spirit, three time Grammy winner Walter Ostanek and his band, and a variety of tribute bands covering music by Billy Joel, The Bee Gees, Elton John, Rod Stewart and The Beach Boys. His teaching style is fun and educational! In summary, Murad’s goal is to get his students' playing level, knowledge of music and confidence up so that they may seek opportunities to perform with other musicians, such as in the School of Rock Performance Program, where students learn to perform in bands together. He is a drum teacher at School of Rock Markham.
Guitar Teacher, Bass Guitar Teacher Alex Perin
Alex Perin
Guitar Teacher, Bass Guitar Teacher
Growing up with a guitar collector for a father, Alex started playing guitar at around 5 years old. Listening to old records and CDs that were lying around the house, he found himself drawn to guitarists like Frank Zappa, Jimi Hendrix, Tony Iommi, Jeff Beck, and Roy Buchanan. Alex's teaching life started very early on out of necessity. Throughout school, he found it very difficult to find anyone to jam with, so he started teaching any of his friends that seemed even remotely interested in playing music.

After high school, Alex's love for musical instruments dragged him off to Luthier school, where he studied instrument repair and custom instrument building, paving the way for him to open his own repair shop, which he has owned and operated for the last decade. Alex has been performing in bands for over 11 years now, spanning across all different genres, and hopes to use his experience to help musicians elevate their love for music.
Drum Teacher Jesse Byles
Jesse Byles
Drum Teacher
Jesse developed an early interest in music by scouring through his parents' record collection. Initially inspired by bands like AC/DC, Led Zeppelin, ZZ Top, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Black Sabbath, and Rush, he decided to start playing both drums and guitar. Jesse began playing in music ensembles at his elementary school and was heavily involved in his high school music program. Jesse also began to form and play in rock bands in his local area during his last two years of high school.

Jesse enrolled at Humber College after finishing high school. He graduated with a bachelor's degree from Humber’s Music, Jazz Performance, and Theatre Production programs, with honours in all programs. During this time, Jesse studied percussion from instructors including John Adames, Steve Mancuso, Ben Ball, Mark Kelso, Paul Delong (Kim Mitchell), Don Vickery, and Larnell Lewis (Snarky Puppy). Since his graduation, Jesse released his first EP of original music in 2022 under the band name, “Baby In A Straitjacket.”

Jesse is currently playing in multiple bands that span across pop, rock, country, and metal genres. He is thrilled to teach at School of Rock Markham and pass on his knowledge to new musicians.
Guitar Teacher, Bass Guitar Teacher, Keyboard + Piano Teacher, Drum Teacher, Adult Band Coach Adi Berk
Adi Berk
Guitar Teacher, Bass Guitar Teacher, Keyboard + Piano Teacher, Drum Teacher, Adult Band Coach
Adi Berk started traditional piano lessons at the age of nine. Like some kids, he got frustrated learning classical pieces and as a result, he quit at age 13. Interestingly enough Adi always enjoyed the theory of music instead of playing the actual piano. Everything changed for Adi when, while browsing in a music store with his friend, he came across the sheet music for "Jump" by Van Halen. He saw that "Jump" simply started with a G and C chord. Being a rock music lover, he immediately went home and tried it out on his piano. That’s all it took. From that point forward music became a massive part of Adi’s life.

By the time he was 19, Adi had taught himself the guitar, bass and drums. Adi attended the Harris Institute of Recording Arts and is completely obsessed with pristine audio quality. Since attending Harris, Adi has designed and built a state-of-the-art recording studio in his own home, where he’s been fortunate to collaborate and record with renowned artists of all genres. Adi has composed scores for various independent short films and is also the founding member of the prog-rock band One Orange Light, where he plays guitar, bass and keyboards.

Focusing on all the positive attributes that music provides, Adi is super excited to be part of School of Rock Markham as a guitar teacher, bass guitar teacher, piano teacher and drum teacher.
Guitar Teacher Calvin Thistle
Calvin Thistle
Guitar Teacher
Calvin began playing guitar in high school and quickly fell in love with it (despite not being very good at first). Through a lengthy process of asking too many questions, practicing more than the average person should and simply being too stubborn to quit, he eventually started to get the hang of it. Calvin began to play with various bands and artists around his school and the larger community, becoming more confident in his abilities and less nervous performing in front of people. Along the way, he started playing other instruments such as drums, ukulele, and vocals, all to varying degrees of competency and is incredibly passionate about trying to instill the same love of music and drive to improve in his students constantly. Calvin is currently attending the Music Industry Arts and Performance program at Centennial College, where he hopes to improve even further.
Tad Upshaw
Guitar Teacher
Tad Upshaw is primarily a metal/rock guitarist, although he has musical influences and interests from a very wide variety of genres. Tad began playing guitar at the age of 12 when he was assigned the instrument at school. He quickly fell in love with the guitar and began taking lessons. Throughout high school, Tad played in a number of small bands and began playing the double bass in the school band. Tad is a graduate of the Music Industry Arts and Performance program at Centennial College, where he focused on the business side of the music industry. During this time, he also performed as the guitarist for a hard rock band called Apothecary and an acoustic act called Duality. Tad is currently working as a guitarist in a project called The Weatherman. He is a guitar teacher at School of Rock Markham.
Guitar Teacher Gerry Strother
Gerry Strother
Guitar Teacher
Gerry has played with many original bands, cover bands, and tribute bands; Shania Twain, Bob Seger, Coldplay, The Killers, Los Straitjackets, and Katy Perry tributes, to name a few. Gerry has played all over Ontario, Bermuda, New York City, and many other Provinces and States. He has also done sessions for eight or nine musicals, has four years of experience playing in a big band, jazz group, a few hip-hop and Reggie gigs, a lot of Classic Rock gigs, and countless numbers of alternative rock and hard rock shows. Gerry is really excited to pass on his love for music to his School of Rock Markham students.
Drum Teacher Anthony Zicari
Anthony Zicari
Drum Teacher
Anthony has been playing drums for over 20 years and was fortunate enough to meet and jam with other musicians at a young age which helped foster a desire to perform. He was self-taught until attending University for Classical Percussion. It was there where he took an interest in teaching. Anthony is currently active playing drums in multiple bands spanning many genres. If he had to pick, his favorite music genre to play is Progressive Rock/Metal. Now teaching at School of Rock Markham, Anthony hopes to "give back" to the newer players and to encourage them along the way.
Drum Teacher Ryan Chiu
Ryan Chiu
Drum Teacher
Ryan grew up in North York listening to his dad’s classic rock albums and started learning drums at 8 years old. What started as a hobby quickly became a love and early pursuit of a career in music.

Ryan began playing classical percussion and jazz drums in middle school with extracurricular bands and ensembles but had always itched to focus more on contemporary genres like rock, metal, and hip-hop. He attended an arts high school to further strengthen his musicality, but still, there were few opportunities to work on contemporary drums. He applied and received a scholarship for a summer program at Berklee School of Music in Boston, where he finally got to shift his drumming to something more modern and has not looked back since.

Today, Ryan can be found doing the odd live gigs in bars and recording drum tracks for his friends for various uses in songs and short films. His favourite drummers are Phil Collins of Genesis, Mario Duplantier of Gojira, and Questlove of The Roots.
Keyboard + Piano Teacher, Singing Teacher Jada Denobrega
Jada Denobrega
Keyboard + Piano Teacher, Vocal Teacher
Jada started piano lessons when she was 7 years old and took vocal lessons for two years beginning at the age of 12. She also attended high school at Cardinal Carter Academy for the Arts studying in the Vocal Music program for four years, where she was first able to focus on developing her skills in music theory, ear training, and performing. Jada is currently in her last year of studies in the Music Industry Arts and Performance program at Centennial College, and after graduating, will continue to further her studies in Music Education.

Jada has been a member of numerous choirs over the years. In 2017, she participated in the COG Teen Talent competition held at Lee University in Cleveland, Tennessee as a member of the Mass Choir for Eastern Canada, which placed 1st that year. Jada is a singer-songwriter who makes music as a solo artist and also collaborates with her band. She is a multi-instrumentalist who plays piano, guitar, bass, and ukulele and is particularly interested in genres like indie rock, punk, folk, and R&B. She is a piano and vocal instructor at School of Rock Markham.
Keyboard + Piano Teacher, Bass Guitar Teacher Anna Blackburn
Anna Blackburn
Keyboard + Piano Teacher, Bass Guitar Teacher
Anna has been playing piano for over 18 years and is currently a piano and music theory teacher with over five years of teaching experience. Originally a classically trained pianist, Anna has developed her training in a wide array of genres, including blues, jazz, R&B, and rock. In addition to piano, she has also been playing bass guitar for over seven years.

Anna is currently a second-year M.A. student in Ethnomusicology at York University specializing in Popular Music Studies, focusing on African-American music in the South from the 1940s through the 1970s. As a native of Louisiana, Anna graduated with the highest honours from the University of Louisiana Monroe in the Spring of 2022 with a B.M. in Piano Pedagogy and a minor in French language. While pursuing her B.M., Anna was a three-time recipient of the Outstanding Music Student award from ULM’s School of Visual and Performing Arts.

As a teacher, she has organized various piano competitions, group classes, and youth summer camps. Anna is also a Musikgarten certified and licensed teacher specializing in early childhood and special needs music education.
Guitar Teacher, Vocal Teacher Carly Rita
Carly Rita
Guitar Teacher, Vocal Teacher
Carly Rita is a multi-instrumentalist and singer-songwriter from the Greater Toronto area. Her musical styles include blues, rock, pop and alternative. Carly’s main musical influences include Amy Winehouse, Adele, The Black Keys, Radiohead, and Green Day. Carly has been a multi-instrumentalist and singer for over 15 years, with guitar, drums, bass guitar, and vocals being her specialties.

Carly is a graduate of the Independent Songwriting and Performance program at Seneca College. Over the years, she has performed in various settings including paid performances, such as playing with a band at the Newmarket Music Festival and Markham Ribfest. Carly has also performed at talent competitions and shows, private functions, community and corporate events, art galleries, festivals, open mics, and showcases. Additionally, she has been interviewed and performed on a live television show and radio broadcast.

In 2018, Carly released a five-song EP and subsequently released two more singles. Currently, she is working on another EP. She has been fortunate to have collaborated and interacted with a variety of people in the music industry and built strong industry relationships. Additionally, Carly has supported, participated in, and created a variety of community-building and fundraising events through music. She is very passionate about sharing music with people of all ages and supporting their musical journeys.
Keyboard + Piano Teacher, Guitar Teacher Ishmael Fuertes
Ishmael Fuertes
Keyboard + Piano Teacher, Guitar Teacher
Ishmael Fuertes is a multi-instrumentalist; he studied classical piano at the age of 6 and the electric guitar at 14. Focusing on genres such as blues rock, funk, and neo-soul, he has been sought after by artists such as Koven Wei, Ethan Low, and Aleebi; artists who have amassed over 400 000+ monthly listeners on Spotify.

Ishmael has played in venues all across Downtown Toronto, including The Drake Underground, The Rivoli, The Painted Lady, Hard Luck Bar, and Supermarket. Currently, he is lending his talents to Lattitude, a band that blends genres such as pop punk and hyperpop.

Alongside that, Ishmael is also studying Jazz at Humber College and pursuing a Bachelor of Music.
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Reviews

We Love School of Rock!

It engages my child in music in ways that he wouldn't have otherwise known.

It built Confidence in My Child!

I love the progression and the confidence this builds in my child. It's a great atmosphere for learning and amazing instructors.

I'd give it an 11!

My 13-year-old says School of Rock feels like a family. I have never felt so welcomed by an organization in my life. It's so supportive and fun. We started with two kids in lessons and now the whole family is involved.

What a cool studio set up!

Great instructors, a cool studio set up and performance programs allow students to learn how to play with others!

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